The Federal government on June 5 placed an indefinite suspension of the operations of the microblogging app in Nigeria after the site took down a tweet posted on the President’s handle.
The Federal government last week said the microblogging site has since reached out for discussions and that the Federal government will now give operating licence to such sites if they want to operate in Nigeria.
According to NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool, an international Internet monitor, Nigeria loses N102.9m ($250,600) every hour to the ban.
The digital rights advocacy platform estimates the economic impact of an internet disruption, mobile data blackout or app restriction using indicators from the World Bank, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Eurostat amongst others.
According to its analysis, an estimated N2.1 billion naira was lost when Nigeria shut down Twitter for 24 hours.According to a report by Statista, Nigeria has about 33 million active social media users with about 26 per cent on Twitter.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture, Ayoola Olukanni, while commenting on the ban, said it has a more adverse effect on micro, small and medium businesses who rely on social media to conduct their business.
Communication is a significant part of sales and marketing in this digital age. Consequently, the Twitter ban will likely impact negatively and disrupt businesses especially Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises who rely on social media, such as Facebook, Instagram including Twitter to conduct business.
It will therefore most likely negatively impact the IT sector of the economy which is already facing several other challenges.
While it may be considered that there are alternative social media platforms, the abrupt nature of the suspension would mean a loss of existing contacts and a cost of migration.
We must of course also not and cannot, discountenance the national security dimension of the misuse of social media and micro-blogging platforms to inspire violence outside its use to conduct Business.
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